Mark Appel Returning to Stanford After Not Signing with Pittsburgh Pirates
Stanford pitcher Mark Appel has opted not to sign for the Pittsburgh Pirates and will play another year at Stanford.
The news was reported by Major League Baseball’s Twitter.
MLB (@MLB) July 13, 2012
Appel was selected with the eighth pick in the 2012 Draft after being projected by many mock drafts to go first overall. He made the following statement via the Stanford Athletics website.
After much thought, prayer and analysis of both opportunities, I came to the conclusion the best decision is to remain at Stanford continuing my studies, finishing my degree, and doing all I can to assist the Cardinal baseball team in our goal to win a national championship.
The 6’5”, 215-pound righty had a fantastic junior season for which he earned All-American honors. He finished the year with a 2.56 ERA and a 10-2 record. He threw 130 strikeouts and just 30 walks in 123 innings of work.
Did Appel make the right decision?
One of the major concerns over drafting Appel was Scott Boras, his agent. Boras represents many of baseball’s biggest stars and is known for aggressively pursuing lucrative signing bonuses.
Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement, which was ratified this past November, gives teams an allotted pool of money for signing bonuses to give to drafted players. Penalties are placed on franchises who exceed the specified amount.
Ronald Blum of Yahoo! Sports reported that the Pirates' final offer to Appel and Boras was $3.8 million, which was close to the maximum they could offer without receiving a penalty. Blum also notes that Appel was the only first-round pick not to sign with the team that drafted him.
The two parties will go their separate ways and Appel will repeat the draft process next year.
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